Lithuania: Economy grows at fastest pace in almost three years
April 28, 2011
According to the flash estimate released on 28 April by the National Statistics Office, GDP surged 6.9% in the first quarter over the same period the year before, which was above the 4.8% increase (previously reported +4.6% year-on-year) recorded in the previous quarter. The reading represented the strongest growth since the second quarter of 2008 and exceeded analysts' expectations, which saw the economy expanding 5.1%. A quarter-on-quarter comparison corroborates the improvement seen in the annual figures, as GDP jumped 3.5% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous quarter, when the economy expanded 1.8% (previously reported +1.7% qoq). The first quarter reading represents a solid step towards recovery, as it marks the fifth consecutive quarterly increase in GDP. Full details of the national accounts data will not be published until 30 May. However, additional data show that the country's industrial sector was a strong growth driver in the first quarter. Based on monthly industrial production data, the industrial sector expanded 14.8% annually in the first quarter, which was another strong result after the buoyant growth of 16.5% tallied in the fourth quarter. The Central Bank raised its growth forecast for this year to 5.6%, which is above the 3.3% projected in February 2011. In 2012, The Bank expects the economy will expand 4.8% (February: +4.1%).